The team behind the Willard Hotel — Carr Hospitality and InterContinental Hotels Group — plans to build a four-star, 268-room hotel as part of a massive overhaul of the District’s Southwest Waterfront.
Carr is in final negotiations to purchase the site, near the intersection of 9th and Water streets SW, from the waterfront's developers, PN Hoffman and Madison Marquette. Hoffman-Madison and the District government plan to begin in late 2012 a $2 billion redevelopment of the area into a mixed-use neighborhood called The Wharf.
Hammad Shah, president and chief operating officer of Carr Hospitality, said the company had been looking to open a second Washington hotel.
“The thought process here is really to create a unique luxury hotel, one of its kind, and I believe the Intercontinental brand fits the mold very well because of its success in Washington with the Willard, and because it’s an international brand,” Shah said.
Shah said the hotel would take advantage of the site’s location overlooking the Washington Channel. He said he expects the hotel to have a 5,000-square-foot rooftop lounge and two ballrooms looking out onto the water, as well as two restaurants.
The hotel also would be near one of the waterfront’s planned piers. Shah said Carr is in negotiations to purchase boat slips from the development team, which would allow guests to arrive by boat. “Everybody gets on and off at the doorsteps of the hotel,” Shah said.
Since completing a land deal with the city in 2008, the waterfront’s development team has made a string of deals to bring the project closer to reality. In March of this year, the Graduate School, formerly an affiliate of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, announced that it would lease about 190,000 square feet there. The waterfront also hosted the Washington Kastles tennis team, bringing thousands of fans to a temporary stadium this summer.
Monty Hoffman, chief executive of District-based PN Hoffman, said Carr was selected among several candidates. He declined to name the sales price.
“We’ve been working with them daily over the past couple months over the design and fit of the hotel,” Hoffman said. “It is going to be a major anchor and attraction to the Southwest Waterfront and the Wharf.”
Shah said rooms are likely to rent for between $300 and $400 a night.
“You’re looking at a resort destination but in a city, and I think that’s really the uniqueness of this location, which is something I think Washington has needed for a long time,” he said.